First of all, congratulations mama, it may feel like you have a long pregnancy journey ahead before you meet your baby but the great news is you can have plenty of ultrasound scans along the way. You may be thinking about booking a 6 week ultrasound scan, the great news is the six weeks ultrasound can be great for reassurance and also mums to be who are experiencing brown spotting at 6 weeks or some other worrying symptoms. Early pregnancy can be a nerve wracking time for parents even if they don’t have any worrying symptoms.
When was your last menstrual period?
At 6 weeks pregnant you are in your first trimester and the early stages if pregnancy. Your babies gestational age is 6 weeks even though your last menstrual period was 6 weeks ago and you were not pregnant the first 2 weeks (your fertilized egg implants around 2 weeks after your menstrual period) you are still six weeks pregnant and this can confuse a lot of first time mums.
You will not usually be offered your first ultrasound unless you are showing signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening. The first trimester ultrasounds with the NHS are usually around 12 weeks pregnant, however some parents who have experienced multiple pregnancy losses or who have gone through fertility treatments may be offered their first ultrasound at 6 weeks.
What are the most common reasons for a sonogram at 6 weeks;
There are lots of reasons for an early ultrasound, here are some of the most common reasons;
- Unsure of how far you are in to your pregnancy
- You have had fertility treatments
- Pelvic pain on one side (could be ectopic pregnancy)
Luckily these days we have access to a lot of private ultrasound clinics who will usually offer sonograms at 6 weeks onwards. You can book your first ultrasound here. The early stage of pregnancy ultrasounds are getting more popular as more awareness is raised around miscarriages, pregnancy complications and baby loss.
Early ultrasounds are a great way to reassure you whilst you wait for your first official medical scan.
Things to remember before the six week ultrasound
Remember this is very early in to your pregnancy, a 6 week fetus (your developing baby) is extremely small so it is very important to remember to have a full bladder for the scan. They will usually try to do the traditional abdominal ultrasound. Please remember that not all sonographers are medical professionals and if you are concerned about anything you should consult your midwife.
Will I have to have a transvaginal ultrasound at 6 weeks?
You may have to have a transvaginal scan at 6 weeks if it is difficult to see your baby on the abdominal scan.
Does the transvaginal ultrasound wand hurt?
No, the transvaginal camera is covered and then lubricated, it only enters the vagina slightly.
Can a transvaginal ultrasound harm the developing embryo?
No, your baby is tucked right up in your uterus and no where near where the camera goes in.
The Early Scan
What should you see on a 6 week ultrasound?
A 6 week developing fetus is very small but you should see the gestational sac (black fluid on ultrasound) and the yolk sac (the little white ring) where the embryo feeds from in the first few weeks of pregnancy. You will also see the fetal pole (the embryo). The sonographer may offer a follow up ultrasound if they struggle to see much, a few days makes a lot of difference when it comes to these early scans. Your baby’s health checks will get more thorough as you get further along in to your pregnancy.
Will my baby have a heartbeat at 6 weeks pregnant?
During your 6 week ultrasound you may be able to see a flickering which will be the baby’s heartbeat. If you do not see a heartbeat at this stage please don’t panic sometimes this doesn’t start until the end of the 6th week or even later.
Do I get an ultrasound image at my 6-week scan?
You will usually get a picture at your 6-week ultrasound if you paid for a private scan, you don’t usually get one at the early pregnancy unit if your scan was for medical reasons.
My baby at 6 weeks pregnant
What size is my 6-week-old foetus?
At 6 weeks pregnant, the fetal pole (your baby) should measure around 5-9mms in length.
Can you see the baby at 6 weeks?
At 6 weeks pregnant you might be able to see the fetal pole and the fetal heartbeat. This will be the earliest time you will be able to see your baby. You baby will not look like a baby at 6 weeks, this is likely to be your first ultrasound and your baby will change a lot.
Can my first ultrasound discover twins?
You can often find out if you are having twins at this scan, the gestational sac will either contain two heartbeats or their would be 2 gestational sacs. Some times one babies heart can start beating before another so you may think you have one baby but at your next ultrasound you could see another growing baby.
Should I tell my doctor about my pregnancy at 6 weeks?
You should call your doctor as soon as you find out you are pregnant so that they can register you with you midwife. They will usually ask for your last period to calculate a rough due date, it is likely your dates will change slightly as your pregnancy progresses but that is completely normal.
Carla is the founder of MyBump2Baby. Carla has a huge passion for linking together small businesses and growing families. Carla’s humorous, non-filtered honesty has won the hearts of thousands of parents throughout the UK.
She has previously written for the Metro and made appearances on BBC News, BBC 5 live, LBC etc. Carla is a finalist for Blogger of the Year award with Simply Ladies inc. Carla is also the host of the popular Fifty Shades of Motherhood podcast and The MyBump2Baby Expert podcast.